The last several months have quite literally kicked me in the rear and laid me out physically and emotionally. So many highs and lows that I had to ride as if on a surfboard. Sometimes I could feel the wind in my hair and the saltwater lapping at my toes while I was 'in the flow' and riding high, and other times I found myself gasping for breath with the force trying to pull me under. Practicing gratitude no matter what has helped me weather the storm. In every down cycle I have learned to see the blessing and in every swell up I am simply grateful to be journeying here.
It all started in August with a strange trip to the emergency room and an eventual diagnosis of vestibular neuritis. I've been physically off balance ever since - relearning how to walk and drive and do small simple things that I didn't even used to think about. I'm very grateful that I've reached my mid-sixties without experiencing chronic illness. I am also blessed to have a daughter who is an occupational therapist who took the time to find a fabulous physical therapist for me who specializes in balance issues. I am getting better although progress is slower than I would like.
Then a magical thing happenned and that same daughter gave birth to my first grandbaby in September - who was born healthy with lots of love and support in her life. I got to hold my new baby girl when she was only two days old and I'm blessed to be only a thee hour drive away so I anticipate lots of time with her in the future! A week later my 96 year old mother passed away very suddenly after a fall where she hit her head and developed a fatal brain bleed. A life arrives and another leaves the planet. I'm grateful that my mother got to know of her great-granddaughter's arrival and that the last quilt she ever made was for the baby. I helped her finish it just before her passing. I'm also very grateful that my mother shared her love of craft and color with me and I hope to share the same with my grandbaby. The love will circle around and around through traditions handed down and gifts passed along. What a blessing to be part of the circle.
A week after returning from my mother's memorial service, I got on a plane and went to California where I got to see one of my closest and oldest friends who helped me deliver my brainy things to an enthusiastic audience at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference, held in San Diego this year. Gratitude for my dear friend who helped enormously and to each and every one of the many people who came by my booth and chatted or bought something, and to the other artists who welcomed me into the fold again. After a two year pandemic hiatus it was SO great to be among my peeps.
Why am I blogging about all of this on my art website? I've asked myself that same question. I want to acknowledge the ups and downs we all go through and give voice to the gratitude for being on the journey. I want everyone who reads this to know that I am grateful they stopped by and took the time. I also want to give myself permission to rest more and live in the flow, floating along the current instead of fighting to swim against it. Gratitude will be the buoy I hold on to.
captioned photos below - hover over the photo :)
It's been two weeks since I traveled to Washington D.C. to take part in my first ever Art of Neuroscience Exhibition at the Society for Neuroscience annual convention with 30,000 attendees. In a word - amazing.
The art exhibition was fairly small with only 7 booths and each of us had something really unique to offer. Links to my fellow artists below if you'd like to learn more about them. And, as the newbie at the show, I have to say they were all kind and helpful!
The best part of the show for me was the response to my work by neuroscientists. People from all over the world came by my booth and talked to me about my work and appreciated it. And by now, pieces of mine have been carried as far as Japan, Turkey, Spain, Brazil and Greece.
It was an incredibly gratifying experience and I hope to be able to attend next year as well in San Diego, California - my old home state.
In the meantime, here is what's on my reading list:
Chronicling my adventures as a Neuro Artist. I love to make work centered on our magnificent brains and learn about how it all works in the process..